Letter: Palliative care, not 'death with dignity'

Palliative care is right response

To the editor:

I oppose the so called "death with dignity" law.

As a hospital chaplain at a tertiary care and major trauma hospital, I have had the privilege of bearing witness to hundreds of patients of all ages who have died. Also, I travel frequently to Auschwitz to pray and bear witness to the thousands of women, men and children who were murdered by the Nazis. Some were subjected to gruesome medical experiments before they died or were killed.

Modern palliative care can ease the sufferings and anxieties of the dying, often giving family members an extraordinary relationship with their loved one. A growing body of clinical evidence supports the notion that spiritual care is helpful at the end of life. Palliative care and spiritual care can help the patient and family and patience experience of good death with dignity.

Most world religions have practices to support a patient and family.

Rev. Bruce N. Teague Sheffield The writer is pastor at Our Lady of the Valley Parish.


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